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Eric
01-18-2007, 07:58 AM
Buy a new car for any number of reasons -- so long as you don't think you'll be saving yourself any money. That's not what new cars are about (although it is what new car sales is about!).

This is true on many levels, too -- not just the monetary one.

* Want a safer car? Buy something old -- and big -- preferably a rear-drive, full-frame American-brand sedan or station wagon from the mid-1970s. These things are as heavy and tough as most mid-sized SUVs -- but less prone to rolling over. They may not have air bags (unless you buy a mid-'90s version, like the Chevy Caprice or Ford Crown Vic, which will) but by dint of sheer mass, they offer a high level of occupant protection -- especially compared with a modern econo-box (with or without air bags). Plus, they're dirt cheap. You can pick up an immaculate condition old boat for less than $10,000.

* Want a car that gets good gas mileage? Older economy cars are often better bets than current models. They tend to weigh less (on average, 2007 model cars are several hundred pounds heavier than their equivalents of the mid-1990s) and they have less powerful (and thus, less thirsty) engines. An old Geo Metro, for instance, can hit 45 mpg on the highway. That's as good or better than the real-world performance of most current-year hybrids -- for a lot less dough, too.

* Want a car that doesn't pollute so much? Sure, you could buy a brand-new hybrid. But a tremendous amount of industrial energy goes into manufacturing a new vehicle (hybrid or gas-hog SUV). Even a "zero emissions" electric car takes lots of energy to build -- and thus, its manufacture produces emissions, even if they don't come out of the tailpipe. By choosing to drive an already-built vehicle, you may be contributing less in terms of total emissions (and using less energy) than you would if you were to purchase a brand-new vehicle, even a brand-new hybrid -- especially if you select a late-model economy-type car that qualified as a Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) or, even better, an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) when it was new. Many cars built since about the year 2000 qualify for these designations -- and their tailpipe emissions are actually very close to those of a new hybrid's.

* Want low taxes and insurance? Then don't buy anything new. You'll pay full freight on both counts, otherwise -- and that can involve big bucks. In areas where property taxes are an issue, the annual assessment on a new vehicle with a $40,000 price tag can be $1,000 (or more) every year for the first several years you own the thing. Same deal with insurance premiums, which will be based on the potential replacement cost of totaling a brand-new vehicle. And if you finance the purchase, you have to buy "full coverage" -- the most expensive kind. On the other hand, if you were to buy a two-to-three-year-old vehicle, both property taxes and insurance premiums will be much lower. And if you aren't making payments on the vehicle (own it outright) you can choose insurance coverage that doesn't include replacement costs of the vehicle itself, in the event of a major accident. Since most of us don't total a vehicle more than once in a lifetime, this is a reasonably safe gamble over, say, a 5-8 year period (the service life of the car). Put the several hundred bucks per year you save into a "just in case" cookie jar -- and if you don't wreck, you'll have a nice little pile of cash at the end of those 5-8 years.

* Want more peace of mind? Perhaps the biggest downside to owning a new car is the stress that comes from worrying about door dings, paint scratches and other inevitable scars of usage. You don't feel safe parking it on a public street; you fear the first snowflake that falls. With an older, already scratched, already dinged vehicle -- who cares? There is something very liberating about being able to leave a car by the curb without fear; of not having to sweat stone chips -- or even a minor fender-bender. It's just a car, after all -- not a Ming Dynasty vase. Save the emotional angst for a beloved classic car you can keep safely under cover in your garage -- and closely supervised when you take it out into the world. You'll be happier -- and probably live longer, too.

How much is all that worth to you?

END

Kwozzie1
01-18-2007, 11:40 PM
In OZ we pay stamp duty on cars wehen we buy them...this is like a state sales tax.
this tax is payable every time a car is sold. its a total rort!

Eric
01-19-2007, 06:03 AM
In OZ we pay stamp duty on cars wehen we buy them...this is like a state sales tax.
this tax is payable every time a car is sold. its a total rort!


We have that here as well - and then we also have annual property tax fees - and registration fees... the SOBs dip into your pocket at nearly every turn...!

Kwozzie1
01-19-2007, 05:44 PM
In OZ we pay stamp duty on cars wehen we buy them...this is like a state sales tax.
this tax is payable every time a car is sold. its a total rort!


We have that here as well - and then we also have annual property tax fees - and registration fees... the SOBs dip into your pocket at nearly every turn...!


Also here for the Rego fees, and property tax for properties not occupied by the owner, otherwise its rates to the local council.shire for services.

Eric
01-20-2007, 07:56 AM
In OZ we pay stamp duty on cars wehen we buy them...this is like a state sales tax.
this tax is payable every time a car is sold. its a total rort!


We have that here as well - and then we also have annual property tax fees - and registration fees... the SOBs dip into your pocket at nearly every turn...!


Also here for the Rego fees, and property tax for properties not occupied by the owner, otherwise its rates to the local council.shire for services.



It never ends, eh?

One way to dodge at least some of it is to buy an older car - which you can then spend lots of money restoring and still be assessed at acording to the "average" or "typical" value of a 30-year-old vehicle!

derff9696
01-23-2007, 07:00 AM
Well Insurance isn't always more expensive.

I just traded in my 2000 Jeep Cherokee for a 2007 4Dr jeep Wrangler and my insurance actually went down $50 a year with the exact same coverages. Collision was more but damages and medical payments were significantly less since it is considered to be much safer(since it actually has a full frame, a thing most new vehicles do not have anymore)

Eric
01-23-2007, 07:10 AM
Well Insurance isn't always more expensive.

I just traded in my 2000 Jeep Cherokee for a 2007 4Dr jeep Wrangler and my insurance actually went down $50 a year with the exact same coverages. Collision was more but damages and medical payments were significantly less since it is considered to be much safer(since it actually has a full frame, a thing most new vehicles do not have anymore)


That sometimes happens - consider yourself lucky!

More often, when you buy a (much more valuable) new car vehicle to replace an older one, the premium goes up because the "replacement cost" of the vehicle is considerably higher. But as you've experienced, this can be offset when a new (safer) car replaces an older (less safe) one.

However, the biggest factor is your DMV record; I'm guessing yours is spotless!